Category Archives: Ultra Garrison & TDF

Spiegel & Ultra Hawk 1


I hear that Tsuburaya Productions’ preparation for “Ultra Seven” got started near the end of “Ultraman.”

But, as posted previously, as the Ultra Series broadcast by TBS, Toei’s “Captain Ultra” came in between.

I knew that the early Ultra Series included “Captain Ultra.”

And  I did watch and enjoyed it in those days as a child.

But I thought that it was between “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman” when it was broadcast.

 

One reason is that both “Ultra Q” and “Captain Ultra” had no Ultra hero, just humans fight against monsters.

Another reason is…

I don’t mean to be rude to Toei Company, but I found it quite unlikely that “Captain Ultra” was a product which came after “Ultraman.”

The quality of Tsuburaya’s SFX stood out so much.

I also think that the designing by Tohl Narita for the Ultra Series played an important role in making the Tsuburaya’s products look more sophisticated.

 

Be that as it may, I remember I enjoyed “Captain Ultra” as well doubtlessly.

It’s likely that “Ultra Seven” was initially planned as a space opera product like “Captain Ultra” with a provisional title of “Ultra Garrison” without no appearance of an Ultra hero like Ultraman.

Spiegel, the spaceship driven by Captain Ultra, separates into three parts each of which flies individually.

The concept was taken over to Ultra Hawk 1 appearing in “Ultra Seven” which also separates into three fighters.

(The photos are the ones of the toys I found on the Web.)

Ultra is well-balanced!


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Taicho Kiriyama (right) & Taicho Kurata (“Ultra Seven” Episode 13)

I think another attractive point of the early Ultra Series is the union between the drama part and SFX part.

Regarding the shooting of the Ultra Series, as I wrote before, the drama part featuring the human actors and the SFX part featuring monsters, Ultra heroes or the defense team equipment were shot separately and simultaneously to save time and cost.

And it’s notable that these two parts match each other without hardly any feeling of strangeness especially in terms of the early trilogy subtitled “Fantasy SFX Series.”

 

If you split hairs, you may find inconsistencies in the drama, which I think is unavoidable to some degree in those days.

But I think it’s depicted quite carefully why the particular monster has appeared or how the humans act in face of it and son on.

If too much weight is attached to the human drama, that will make any monsters unnecessary.

On the other hand, if a monster just appears abruptly and meaninglessly apart from the human drama, that will make it look all the more unreal.

 

Either way the SFX drama like the Ultra Series will not work out.

I find a well-balanced union between the drama part and the SFX part in the early Ultra Series.

And it maximizes a synergistic effect between them.

It must deserve admiration that it offers entertainment for everyone portraying each human character properly without diminishing the attractiveness of monsters.

I love the early Ultra Series in this light as well!

Dan in a dilemma


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Dan caught in a dilemma (Episode 26)

In contrast with Hayata of “Ultraman,” Dan Moroboshi of “Ultra Seven” is portrayed more like a human. (Dan has his first name from the beginning unlike Hayata.)

In the setting, Hayata is a human united with Ultraman, and Dan is Ultra Seven in his own.

But Dan is often depicted more like an ordinary human in a sense.

He often gets caught in a dilemma between the aliens and the Earthlings.

And that troubles him a lot.

 

He gets at a loss over whether he should act as an Earthling or an alien.

Or which side he should take between Earthlings and aliens.

The world of the early Ultra is not necessarily the one between right and wrong.

That makes Dan troubled quite often.

In result, Dan has much more monologues to express his mind than Hayata.

 

“The Dark Zone” (Episode 6) and “Super Weapon R-1” (Episode 26) are about such stories.

In “The Stolen Ultra Eye” (Episode 37), Dan’s empathy with Alien Magellan, Maya, abandoned by her home is depicted.

“Ambassador of The Nonmalt” (Episode 42) presents a controversial story which could shake the identity of the series itself fundamentally.

It’s said such a profile of Dan reflects the identity crisis Tetsuo Kinjo, the main screenwriter for the early Ultra, had over the being of Okinawan and that of Tokyoite presumably conflicting within himself.

The age might not have allowed a mere hero any more.

“Pointer” looks cool!


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Among the TDF and UG equipment, I love Pointer most.

The design shows no signs of age (to me), and It still looks so cool even now!

There are fans who are so charmed with Pointer that they get their own by modifying their cars.

The design work was done by Tohl Narita in line with the other equipment such as Ultra Hawk 1-3.

It is said Pointer is based on Chrysler Imperial 1957 model.

 

Though it is set as an amphibious and ultra-fast speed supercar, it is likely it often stalled out during a take as it’s based on an almost discarded car.

But it was also used for transportation of cast members by detaching the rear wings on both sides.

And that made them embarrassed every time stopping at a red light because it got a lot of attention from people around.

 

While Pointer 1 (PO-1) regularly appears in the drama, you can see PO-II in Episode 4 and the MP version for use of the common TDF members in Episode 5.

As you may have noticed, the producers have only one Pointer for shooting.

So letters were just added to make it look like another Pointer.

In Episode 4, you can see plural Pointer lined in the parking area of the TDF base which were increased in number by compositing though it’s inconspicuous.

Ultra Hawk 2, 3 and the others


Ultra Hawk 2 is a space rocket used as a shuttle making a round trip between the underground base and Space Stations.

Also it is in use for battles in the space along with Ultra Hawk 1.

It can fly in the atmosphere as well.

The docking of Hawk 2 and Space Station was supposed to be depicted.

But It was not realized.

 

Ultra Hawk 3 flies exclusively in the atmosphere and is in use for patrolling or transporting the underground tank Magmariser.

It also fights with Hawk 1.

Hawk 3 appears from the launching pad behind a water fall.

The likeness of a secret base shown in such a way satisfied us at the time.

 

The underground tank Magmariser played an outstanding role, for example, in saving Seven’s life in Episode 40.

Or the unmanned Magmariser on auto pilot loaded with explosives rushed into the aliens’ underground base to destroy it in Episode 49 (the last episode).

The tank has a major presence with frequent appearances.

 

Hydrangers are submarines which also appeared a number of times in the drama and showed their impressive activities.

In the later Ultra or Ultraman Series, such underground tanks and submarines don’t appear as much as in “Seven.”

Each of the Space Station V1-V3  has Station Hawk 1 and 2 operative.

Great lineup, isn’t it?